Friday, June 24, 2022

Just Jack


Jack Johnson's new album is coming out later today.  I cannot wait.

I have loved every album except the last one.  I am hoping that ALL THE LIGHT ABOVE IT TOO was his career low mark and that he's gotten that out of his way now.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Thursday, June 23, 2022.  Joe Biden works harder as his fake assery, the world watches as Joe continues to persecute Julian Assange, Moqtada al-Sadr denies Iran forces his hand, and much more.

The persecution of Julian Assange continues.  SCHEERPOST notes:

After British Home Secretary Priti Patel signed Julian Assange’s extradition order on Friday the authorities in Belmarsh prison stripped Julian Assange and threw him into a completely empty cell in an attempt to prevent his suicide, Assange’s father has said. 

It was just one more instance in which the prison humiliated his son, Shipton told  a rally on Tuesday night at the offices of the Junge Welt newspaper in Berlin. About 300 people attended, with an overflow crowd watching on closed circuit TV in the courtyard. 

Testimony was heard from expert defense witnesses during Assange’s extradition hearing that he might try to end his life in prison once he learned he was going to the United States. 

Alan Jones (THE SCOTSMAN) adds:

John Rees, a leading member of the campaign for Mr Assange to be freed, told the PA news agency: “This is simply extrajudicial punishment.

“It’s unacceptable and it’s surely illegal. But it shows how much pressure the authorities are under to free Assange that they behave this vindictively.

“We need to redouble our efforts to stop the extradition, for Julian Assange’s sake and for the defence of a free press.”

This persecution of Julian is about silencing the press.  Monday April 5, 2010, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  That is when the persecution begins.  It was an intimidation carried out by multiple presidents starting with Barack Obama, continuing with Donald Trump and now the baton for killing the press has been handed off to Joe Biden. This has had the effect of scaring off many traditional news outlets.  They once partnered with Julian to report and now they act as though they've never heard of him.  Saving their own asses?  They may think that.  If they do, they're dead wrong.  An attack on Julian is an attack on all.  And if the attack on Julian is not loudly and publicly rebuked, you can be sure that next up will be THE WASHINGTON POST or THE MIAMI HERALD or some other institution -- despite the US Constitution -- the same one that's being ignored in this attack on Julian.   Michael S. Robinson Sr. (SALT LAKE CITY WEEKLY) observes:

His dives into the depths of national and international corruption have shown us that the U.S. and its close allies fall short of their choir-boy claims.

Free speech and an unmuzzled press are sacrosanct tenets of our country. And yet, for all the clamor over free speech issues and the long-heralded proclamations on how essential the press is in protecting our democracy, Americans seem to be forgetting the sacred essentials of just what it is that keeps our nation free. Historically, those who have used their journalistic fervor to nail our country's misdeeds and duplicity have become symbols of America's greatness.

Take Daniel Ellsberg, for instance, whose exposure of the Pentagon Papers helped to end the horror of our involvement in Vietnam. His expository efforts made it clear that almost everything the government had told us about Vietnam was a lie—that the Gulf of Tonkin attack was a provocation based on falsity, and that the U.S. was denying truth to its citizens, reporting the opposite of what was fact and hiding the grisly horrors of a fruitless and costly war.

Around the world, Joe /Biden is determined to prove that the US is as bad as all the other countries it so often criticizes, that the government will go after those in the press who do their job if it produces content critical of the government.  The US government is looking worse and worse on the world stage thanks to Joe.  

As THE NEW ARAB notes, the world is watching:

An international coalition of journalists, editors and publishers demanded on Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be immediately released from a UK jail and that all charges against him be dropped.

Fifteen representatives of international journalist and publishers' unions and organisations gathered in Geneva for the "call to free Julian Assange in the name of press freedom".

"We are demanding that Julian Assange be freed, returned to his family, and finally permitted to live a normal life," said Dominique Pradalie, head of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which counts some 600,000 members across 140 countries.

"If Julian Assange is freed today, they will still have stolen 10 years of his life," she told the event.

This is not a good look for Joe.

Azeezah Kanji (TRUTHOUT) points out: 

Previously, U.S. officials discussed “options” for kidnapping Assange and assassinating him by poison — tactics ultimately dismissed as “something we’d do in Afghanistan,” Egypt or Pakistan, but not the U.K. Therefore, they’ve opted for the more “civilized” alternative. Instead of kidnapping, extradition. And instead of assassination, entombment in the torturous U.S. carceral system, where Assange faces a death-in-prison sentence of 175 years for exposing U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

How is this, in essence and effect, anything but the “legal” equivalent of an extraordinary rendition — defined by the American Civil Liberties Union as “the practice of capturing people and sending them to countries that use torture or abuse in interrogations”?

While the U.S.’s infamous extraordinary rendition program has (now) been officially condemned and supposedly ceased, rendition to torture via legalized means is enduringly embraced.

As John Stauber notes, "[O]ne of the world's best and most important journalists is being tortured to death by #Biden for exposing bipartisan US war crimes.  History will praise Assange and piss on Biden."

 Staying with the topic of Joe-Joe Fake Ass, Kevin Reed (WSWS) notes:

On Wednesday afternoon, President Biden announced a series of measures that he claimed would reduce gasoline prices for consumers heading into the busy summer season. Prominent among his proposals was an appeal to Congress to “suspend the federal gas tax for the next 90 days.”

Speaking in front of large digital displays at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at 2:00 p.m., Biden noted that 18 cents of every gallon purchased goes to the federal Highway Trust Fund which is used to “keep our highways going.” By suspending the tax for three months, he said, “we can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief.”

The other elements of Biden’s plan were a call for states to suspend their gas taxes, an appeal for the oil companies to refine more gas and a request that gas station owners not artificially inflate prices. The president clearly has no means or even any interest in realizing such empty promises.

Some aspects of the proposal are worth examining, and we will do so below. But the real purpose of the plan and the speech has nothing to do with the price of gas, and it was demonstrated in Biden’s concluding remarks, after which he walked away from the podium and took no questions from the press.

The president said, “This is a time of war, global peril, Ukraine. These are not normal times. … Let’s remember how we got here: Putin invaded Ukraine. Putin invaded Ukraine with 100,000 forces.”

Biden’s claim that Putin is responsible for skyrocketing gas prices is a lie, aimed at legitimizing his undeclared war against Russia, covering up the causes of the inflation sweeping through all sectors of the US economy and protecting the interests of the oil monopolies. His pathetic appeal to the corporations for price reductions will fall on deaf ears.

“This is a time of war,” Biden proclaims. Who declared this war? Who brought the United States into it? This statement blows apart the fiction that the US and NATO are not at war with Russia. And the assertion contradicts the claim that the US concern in Ukraine is to “defend democracy and freedom.” When were the American people ever consulted about this war? The very decision to intervene was taken undemocratically and behind closed doors, as the result of a protracted imperialist build-up against Russia.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans serve and defend the profit system and the oil monopolies. Both parties support the imperialist intervention in Ukraine against Russia. Biden only objects to Republican efforts to score points off the gas price rise in the 2022 elections, by putting the sole blame on his supposedly “green” policies (which are nothing of the kind).

Joe Biden has destroyed the economy with his war of choice and yet a lot of idiots will continue to defend him. He is not your friend, he is not on your side.  Matthew Cunningham-Cook (JACOBIN) points out:

Last month, President Joe Biden nominated a longtime advocate of Social Security privatization and benefit cuts to a key board overseeing the Social Security system. The move comes as Republicans get ready to push cuts to Social Security and Medicare, if they end up winning control of Congress during the November’s midterms, as expected.

The development suggests that there could soon be a coordinated push in Washington to cut the Social Security program, which provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to 66 million Americans.

On May 13, Biden chose to nominate Andrew Biggs, a fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute think tank, for a Republican seat on the bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board, which was created in 1994 to consult the president and Congress about the Social Security system.

For years, Biggs has been a vocal critic of expanded Social Security and workers’ right to a secure, stable retirement free from the vagaries of the stock market. He has dismissed the retirement crisis as a nonissue and as recently as 2020 blamed problems with the Social Security system on “older Americans’ game of chicken.” And two decades ago, Biggs worked on a George W. Bush administration commission that pushed to privatize Social Security.

The fake assery of Joe Biden.  That included, please remember, backing Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq.  Joe loves to trot out Beau Biden and Beau's service in Iraq.  Didn't stop him from siding with Moqtada who is responsible for the deaths of many US troops.  Didn't stop him from channeling the bribe through the US State Dept last August to get Moqtada to reverse his position on the Iraqi elections and instead announce that he now supported them.  

Those elections took place October 10th.  Over eight months later, still no prime minister, still no president.  Moqtada had a hissy fit recently and took his toys and went home.  He demanded that his MPs resign from the Parliament.  And they did.  

His usual sycophants in the media tried to spin this.  Just a bluff. Or some great move that he's going twist around and . . .

Iraq Parliament swears in new lawmakers to replace 73 members of Sadrist bloc who resigned – Reuters


They're gone.  They're replaced (by the next highest vote getters from the October 10th elections).

Now he's said to be hoping to return as a protest leader.  Forgetting apparently that Shi;ite youths connected to The October Revolution rejected him three years ago.  But that's what cult leader Moqtada has in his future, a return to being the 'angry, young man' and at the age of 47.  He's now twice the median age of the people of Iraq (21 years old) and he'll try to inspire.

In yesterday's snapshot, we noted that the Iranian government had peeled away the Barzani-KDP support for Moqtada which was why he took his toys and went home.  Truth must hurt because yesterday evening and this morning's new cycle saw headlines about how the Iranian government, per Moqtda, did not force his decision or break with him or pass a note in study hall saying he was a big, stinky ass and that the turban made him look 20 pounds fatter.

At The Atlantic Council, Andrew Peek notes:

The June 12 decision by Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to renounce his electoral victory and collapse the government formation process is a gift to Iran. It is a blow to average Iraqis—who demonstrated in 2019 for the end of the sectarian political system and were killed for it—and a blow to the United States, which had a chance to help expunge much of the malign Iranian influence that has seeped into Iraq since the 2003 US invasion.

Sadr had won a significant seventy-three out of 329 seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections in October 2021, outperforming all his Iraqi competitors, but especially the Iranian-backed parties and their militias. He then attempted to do something unprecedented: hold out for a majoritarian coalition and shut those same Shia parties out of government entirely, rather than divide up the spoils.

If Sadr cut Iran-aligned parties out of the Iraqi government, including Iraq’s internal policy forces, it would have been a major blow to Iran’s growing regional influence in the Middle East. Iran values a pliable Iraq more than anything else: the prospect of an unfriendly Iraqi government—or even a nationalistic Iraqi government—would have reoriented Tehran’s political and security efforts in the region. Some of the funds and the attention of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which flows to Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and even the Gaza Strip, would then have to be redirected in an epic effort to negotiate a new relationship with Baghdad.

It would also have revolutionized Iraqi politics, where certain militias and their political allies in the government intimidate politicians who stray too far from the line. As it happens, Sadr is one of the very few Iraqi political leaders who is difficult to intimidate. His brand is that of the eternal outsider and opponent of the US invasion, Iran, corruption, and Iraqi elites. However, his real power is that he has had a militia of his own. Saraya al-Salam forms part of the Hashd al-Shaabi—until recently, it almost had the strength to match the Iran-backed portions of the group. Sadr, thus, has the muscle to force a decisive confrontation if he wants.

Sadr’s steadfastness these past eight months since the October 2021 elections was shocking, particularly for a man whose political oscillations are an Iraqi watchword. He was being leaned on very heavily. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had urged Sadr to drop his project, to join with the Iran-aligned parties, and return to the rule of the great Shia political glob. His coalition partners, particularly the Kurdish Democratic Party’s (KDP) Masoud Barzani, were also under immense pressure. The forces opposing Sadr—primarily former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki—had focused on stopping the nomination of the presidency, rigging a series of court decisions: raising the threshold for his election and then disqualifying the KDP’s candidate, Hoshyar Zebari.

To what precise extent Iran controls Iraq is one of the great policy questions of the region and the answer is, broadly, not as much as Iraq’s critics claim, with Sadr’s election being proof of that. But also proof of Iran’s influence is his order for the resignation of loyalist members of parliament. Iran has the most influence in behaviors that hamper the region, such as militias and ballistic missiles. The trouble for Iraqis is that these behaviors are precisely the ones that make Iraq impossible to change, whether to attract greater foreign investment, encourage its bourgeoning private sector, or simply reduce corruption from the top down. The Iranians and their political henchmen have private armies and courts and their government will, thus, elect a new people if they are pressed too far.

A vote for Sadr was a vote for change in Iraq—undisciplined, highly erratic change, certainly, but change, nonetheless. His victory was not a full endorsement of the October 2019 demonstrators, but also due to a reordering of the electoral system and thus ephemeral. His bloc gamed the elections best.  But he had seized the mantle of the protestors even with partial consent.

His current strategy is risky: he will almost certainly be making a play for early elections, though it’s unclear how much better he could do than in October 2021. Sadr may be feeling stronger after some action in this parliamentary session, including passing a food security law that will appeal to the poor and an anti-normalization law to fend off critics from the Iran-backed parties. He may also want to bait Maliki and the opposition into forming a government, instead, and be saddled during a hot and underemployed summer in Iraq with sandstorms and power outages. But the opposition isn’t foolish and will likely accede to early elections after a period under the current government—if they are asked.

It was a mistake for the Joe Biden administration to keep Iraq at arm’s length these past months. The administration has deployed minor US officials and made anodyne statements about the will of the Iraqi people. That reflects conventional wisdom: that a more visible US presence can only arouse Shia opposition and harm those nationalistic Iraqis whose victory would help net-US interests. It isn’t popular for Sadr, after all, to have US Secretary of State Antony Blinken touring Baghdad and advocating on his behalf. But there is still room to compete with Iran, which now has the outcome it wants.

For example, the Biden administration should have done more to condemn the series of attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan this spring, including a barrage of a dozen missiles on March 13. This could have included at least sending a senior American official to the Iraqi Kurdistan region. They should also have expressed privately, at a high level, American unhappiness with the Iraqi courts stonewalling the choice of president on February 6. It is possible this happened, though, given the lack of high-level involvement or attention to this process, it is unlikely. Of course this would be portrayed as interference in Iraqi sovereignty, but compared to, for example, Iranian and Turkish violations of sovereignty, the bar is low. Many Iraqis understand this.

Above all, the Biden administration should have been down in the mud of Baghdad politics, just as the Iranians and the IRGC were, cajoling and demanding from political leaders to do more. Iran treats Iraq as a zero-sum political battleground of immense stakes, and so must America if it wants to help—Iraqi leaders can seem bemused when it doesn’t.

The difference between America’s strategic tools—its foreign and military aid to Iraq—and its tactical influence—the ability to sway decision-makers—is the greatest challenge to US policy In Iraq. Iran has poor strategic tools and its economic aid is negligible, though there is plenty of licit and illicit trade. Nevertheless, Iran’s tactical tools are immense, since its agents can and will threaten to kill individuals if they vote the wrong way—or say the wrong thing.

America’s profile is precisely in reverse. There is precious little personal incentive for individual ministers and politicians to accede to an American demand, especially if it infuriates the Iranians. America is resource-rich in strategic incentives for the nation, but very poor in its ability to make a single person’s life better. That leads to a collective-action problem, where it is better for the Iraqi state to cooperate with the US but for individual political leaders to help Iran—and, usually, the latter outweighs the former.

In any case, the United States was absent from the latest Iraqi political drama again, leaving its Arab allies adrift. That was a loss for Washington, but even more so a loss for Iraqis and the majority who voted for change. 

The following sites updated:

Thursday, June 23, 2022

George Ezra

George Ezra's GOLD RUSH KID is an album that I hope you will check out if you haven[t already.  He's a British singer-songwriter.  Here are two interviews he's done recently.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Wednesday, June 22, 2022.   The persecution of Julian Assange is a war on the press and a war on the truth, Moqtada al-Sadr remains out of power, and much more.

Around the world, everyone watches as US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange.  The Geneva Press Club Tweets:

#Journalists associations, medias, editors in chief, mobilize on June 22, 11 AM CEST in Geneva to #FreeAssange after UK ordered today his extradition. In violation of #HumanRights and #pressfreedom. Sign up here

This persecution of Julian is about silencing the press.  Monday April 5, 2010, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  That is when the persecution begins.  It was an intimidation carried out by multiple presidents starting with Barack Obama, continuing with Donald Trump and now the baton for killing the press has been handed off to Joe Biden. This has had the effect of scaring off many traditional news outlets.  They once partnered with Julian to report and now they act as though they've never heard of him.  Saving their own asses?  They may think that.  If they do, they're dead wrong.  An attack on Julian is an attack on all.  And if the attack on Julian is not loudly and publicly rebuked, you can be sure that next up will be THE WASHINGTON POST or THE MIAMI HERALD or some other institution -- despite the US Constitution -- the same one that's being ignored in this attack on Julian.

Jonathan Cook (DISSIDENT VOICE) details how certain press assets of the CIA in the UK delivered lies to the public as truth:

We now know, courtesy of a Yahoo News investigation, that through 2017 the CIA hatched various schemes either to assassinate Assange or to kidnap him in one of its illegal “extraordinary rendition” operations, so he could be permanently locked up in the US, out of public view.

We can surmise that the CIA also believed it needed to prepare the ground for such a rogue operation by bringing the public on board. According to Yahoo’s investigation, the CIA believed Assange’s seizure might require a gun battle on the streets of London.

It was at this point, it seems, that Cadwalladr and the Guardian were encouraged to add their own weight to the cause of further turning public opinion against Assange.

According to her witness statement, “a confidential source in [the] US” suggested – at the very time the CIA was mulling over these various plots – that she write about a supposed visit by Farage to Assange in the embassy. The story ran in the Guardian under the headline “When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange.”

In the article, Cadwalladr offers a strong hint as to who had been treating her as a confidant: the one source mentioned in the piece is “a highly placed contact with links to US intelligence”. In other words, the CIA almost certainly fed her the agency’s angle on the story.

In the piece, Cadwalladr threads together her and the CIA’s claims of “a political alignment between WikiLeaks’ ideology, UKIP’s ideology and Trump’s ideology”. Behind the scenes, she suggests, was the hidden hand of the Kremlin, guiding them all in a malign plot to fatally undermine British democracy.

She quotes her “highly placed contact” claiming that Farage and Assange’s alleged face-to-face meeting was necessary to pass information of their nefarious plot “in ways and places that cannot be monitored”.

Except of course, as her “highly placed contact” knew – and as we now know, thanks to exposes by the Grayzone website – that was a lie. In tandem with its plot to kill or kidnap Assange, the CIA illegally installed cameras inside, as well as outside, the embassy. His every move in the embassy was monitored – even in the toilet block.

The reality was that the CIA was bugging and videoing Assange’s every conversation in the embassy, even the face-to-face ones. If the CIA actually had a recording of Assange and Farage meeting and discussing a Kremlin-inspired plot, it would have found a way to make it public by now.

Far more plausible is what Farage and WikiLeaks say: that such a meeting never happened. Farage visited the embassy to try to interview Assange for his LBC radio show but was denied access. That can be easily confirmed because by then the Ecuadorian embassy was allying with the US and refusing Assange any contact with visitors apart from his lawyers.

The war on Julian is a war on the press and a war on the truth.

Kevin Gosztola discussed the issues in the video below.

US House Rep Ilhan Omar Tweets:

The prosecution of Assange is still indefensible!
Quote Tweet
Ilhan Omar
On his show @mehdirhasan makes the case for why the prosecution of Assange is indefensible. Give it a listen👇🏽

At TRUTHOUT, Marjorie Cohn notes, "This the first time the United States has prosecuted a journalist or media outlet for publishing classified information. The extradition, trial and conviction of Julian Assange would have frightening ramifications for investigative journalism. On June 17, the editorial board of The Guardian wrote, 'This action potentially opens the door for journalists anywhere in the world to be extradited to the US for exposing information deemed classified by Washington'."

Turning to Iraq, the government remains without a prime minister, without a president, all this time after the October 10th elections.  Some in the western media are apparently butt hurt over getting it so wrong last fall when they praised Moqtada al-Sadr as a "kingmaker" and ran all these puff pieces on the man who leads a cult, on the man responsible for the deaths of US troops, on the man who has terrorized minority groups in Iraq, etc.  If you missed it, after months of being unable to form a government, Moqtada announced he was taking his toys and going home.  The 73 MPs in his bloc have resigned from Parliament.

Now the western press whores are trying to sell that as a victory.

Moqtada has a master plan! He's playing three dimensional chess!  This will force everyone to bend to his will!

Dubious claims at best.

Moqtada couldn't hack and he left.  Arabic social media has been addressing it for the last two weeks.  The government in Iran put pressure on the KDP leadership (the Barzani family) and Moqtada was about to experience a very public break in coalition.  The KDP got a huge number of votes.  Without them, Moqtada was nowhere near getting enough members in his coalition to form a government.

It would have been an even bigger failure so Moqtada elected to take his toys and go home -- hoping there was a least one shred of dignity left that he could cover himself in.  (There wasn't.)


After winning last year’s election, Sadr appeared to be in the driver’s seat of Iraqi politics — and claimed to be on a path to form a majority government and sideline his main rivals, former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and parts of the Iran-aligned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Eight months later, Sadr seems to be walking away from the government-formation process, throwing Iraqi politics into uncertain terrain.

What’s his end game? Our interviews with senior figures within Sadr’s group suggest he may now focus on leading protests against political opponents. The protest space is where Sadr has been uniquely powerful as the leader of one of the largest Islamist movements in the region, organized around his personal authority as a charismatic, religious figurehead.

For Iraq, the result now may be further political instability — and potentially another early election. But more critically, the approaching summer will put added pressures on Iraq’s government amid scorching heat and growing public anger over the lack of jobs and basic services. This summer may see a repeat of last year’s blackouts, for instance — and protests. And supply disruptions could exacerbate ongoing protests over unemployment, wages and working conditions in the public sector.

A replay of the delicate balancing act that served Sadr well in the past seems likely. He reportedly will now try to retain his influence across the government’s most powerful institutions while rallying anti-establishment protests in the streets. But will it work this time?

It's a strong piece.  At last, a report at THE POST treats Nouri al-Maliki as the instrument of power he remains.  I think he's a thug.  My thoughts don't do a damn thing to alter the power he does and the power that he's used in 2021 and still today.  It was a huge mistake for the US media to impose a blackout on Nouri in order to sell Moqtada as some form of leader.  They also note -- as we've for years now -- Moqtada is not the protest leader.  He controls his cult, yes.  The October Revolution that emerged in 2019 was not led by him.  He attempted to co-opt it and, when he failed, he began attacking them.  These were young Shi'ites.  Too many e-mails come into the public account that still don't grasp that point.  Sunnis were not part of The October Revolution.  Moqtada's hold on the average Shiite was never that strong to begin with.  It's grown weaker.  (As has his hold on his cult which is why he got so many fewer votes this go round. Despite ordering his cult to vote in these elections.) 

So let's add to the analysis with some other basics.

Nearly 20 years after he emerged as the angry young man opposed to US forces, he's no longer young.  He does not speak for the youth.  Nor do they want him to.  He wants to be the face of protests.  He wanted that in 2019 so he tried to co-opt the movement.  He realized in early 2020 that he couldn't, so he attacked the movement.  By the time he was ordering them, April 2020, to not allow males and females to protest together, they were openly laughing at him and carrying protest signs that ridiculed him.

His aging out as the 'voice of youth' is not uncommon in any country.  It is especially not uncommon in a country where so many have died due to the war that the median age is now is now 21-years-old.

Here's another reality he's going to have to come up against.

If he starts the protests up again, his cult will turn out, yes.  Other Shi'ites?  He's going to be protesting against a new government.  How is that going to work this summer?

Let's say everything breaks the way they need it for Nouri's group.  So in 30 days or so, they're in power.  And there's Moqtada, in early August, calling them out for what they haven't done?

They will only have been in power a few weeks and the entire country is aware that it was Moqtada who, for over eight months, was unable to deliver.  That it was Moqtada who finally stepped aside and quit.  That had he done this earlier, a government could have been formed before the obscene summer heat hit Iraq.

Anything can hapen.  But Moqtada's got a lot of negatives and they make his ability to recapture the days of 2005 much, much more difficult.

We'll wind down with this from Ms.

Ms. Magazine

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Eleanor Smeal

P.S. Your Ms. Partner contribution is tax-deductible. And as a special thank you for your support, we’ll make sure your name is printed in the Ms. Partners or Sustaining Members section of the 50th Anniversary Issue of Ms. this fall.


You won’t want to miss out on seeing your name listed along with other Ms. Partners in our 50th Anniversary Collector’s Issue. So please join us today. AND please make sure your name appears the way you want it listed in the Special 50th Anniversary edition.



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